Oregon Law Review : Vol. 89, No. 2, p. 701-724 : Oregon’s Big Gamble: BETC and the Economics of Renewable Energy and Conservation
Kuehl, Gordon J.
In the 2007–2009 biennial period, the BETC program cost Oregon $68.6 million in tax revenue. Following the economic downturn of 2008, Oregon is experiencing the same or worse economic woes as the rest of the United States, and there have been loud cries that the BETC program should be either massively cut back or eliminated. With all state departments having to make tough cuts due to budget constraints, how can the massive tax expenditure of the BETC program be justified? To answer that question, I will examine the history of the BETC program, its successes, and its weaknesses in the hope of finding a long-term, sustainable, and effective way that the goals of the Oregon legislature can be met. Part I of this Comment reviews the history and passage of the BETC program and the changes that have been made to it over the last decade. Part II examines the current implementation of BETC and its economic, environmental, and public policy effectiveness. Finally, Part III considers the ongoing and upcoming legislative battles BETC faces and what steps need to be followed to continue the program’s effectiveness.
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